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Rag Radio 2017-02-10 - Susan Rittereiser & Mike Miller: 'Historic Austin Movie Houses' and the stories they tell!

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Rag Radio 2017-02-10 - Susan Rittereiser & Mike Miller: 'Historic Austin Movie Houses' and the stories they tell!


Published February 10, 2017


From left: Susan Ritterreiser, Thorne Dreyer, and Mike Miller. Photo by Roger Baker.
Thorne Dreyer's guests are Susan Rittereiser and Mike Miller of the Austin History Center. They are the authors of Historic Austin Movie Houses, part of Arcadia's Images of America series, which includes striking images of these important historical spaces. We'll talk about Austin's early movie houses and the amazing history that surrounded them, as well as how changes in the theaters effected the moviegoing experience, in Austin and nationwide.

Motion pictures came to Austin on October 10, 1896, debuting at the Hancock Opera House. As Austin's population grew and motion picture technology changed, so, too did Austin's movie houses, from the first kinetoscope parlor on Congress Avenue to the city's first fourplex, the Aquarius 4. We'll talk about how the civil rights movement impacted the segregated theaters, including the very effective 1961 "stand-ins" led by UT students. We'll visit the world premiere of Batman: The Movie in 1966, and learn what the Paramount Theater was doing with war bond drives during World War II. And we'll look at the Supreme Court ruling of 1948, which busted up the movie producers' monopoly over all aspects of movie making -- production through distribution -- and how it effected theaters in Austin and the nation.

Susan Rittereiser is Curator of Archives and Manuscripts at the Austin History Center and serves as a local historian and steward of historical material for the Austin/Travis County community. She studied film archiving/preservation, theory, and production while getting her MLIS in archival management at The University of Texas at Austin. She graduated with highest honors from Arizona State University with a BS in psychology and a minor in philosophy from Arizona State University. As a former filmmaker/videographer, Susan has a long-standing interest in movies.

Mike Miller is the manager of the Austin History Center, where he directs all operations. The History Center is the local archives division of the Austin Public Library and is dedicated to preserving and celebrating the history of Austin and Travis County. Mike has a BA in History from St. Edward's University and a Masters in History and Information Science from the University of North Texas. He also co-authored a new book, Texas On Ice: Early Strides to Pro Hockey in Texas, the first volume of a planned 3-volume set documenting the story of ice sports in Texas, and wrote Austin's First Cookbook: Our Home Recipes, Remedies, and Rules of Thumb.

Rag Radio is produced in the studios of KOOP 91.7-FM, an all-volunteer, cooperatively-run community radio station in Austin, Texas, in association with The Rag Blog and the New Journalism Project, a Texas 501(c)(3) nonprofit. The host and producer of Rag Radio, Thorne Dreyer, is a prominent Austin-based activist and writer who was a pioneer of the ’60s underground press movement. The show’s engineer and co-producer is Tracey Schulz and the staff photographer is Roger Baker. The syndicated show is broadcast (and streamed) live Fridays, 2-3 p.m. (Central) on  KOOP, and is later rebroadcast and streamed on WFTE-FM in Mt. Cobb and Scranton, PA., on Houston Pacifica's KPFT HD-3 90.1, and by KKRN, 88.5-FM  in Round Mountain, CA -- and as a featured podcast at Veterans Today Live. Contact: ragradio@koop.org. Running time: 54:11.


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